In the beginning, I planned to sail this book toward Brittany and track down Morgana le Fay, even peering through her witch-mists to the peculiar heart of Atlantis, where I thought she might be lurking. I was determined to summon, stir and call her up. In the event, at the very start of my literary voyage I was boarded by a very real Celtic Christian named Moluag, and was driven by strange inner currents toward an island in the Hebrides that wouldn’t let me go. The original title of this book was to be Raasay – an Inner Route to Everywhere. Somehow, I touched on that island as a living entity rather than just the barren lump of rock and soil, as I had assumed it was. Raasay and Moluag, with the unlikely help of William Wordsworth, have taught me that we can all make voyages that are tied in with the fertile magick of the Earth, its Seas, and our own daily experience. It was written as I went along, never seeing beyond the horizon as to what the next paragraph would reveal. As such it’s more a casual journal and an inner travelogue than an attempt at a text-book. It also includes FPD’s superb manual of self-initiation into the Faery Realms that was written in the late 1930s when the old mage was at the height of his considerable powers and was Dion Fortune’s very own Moon Priest. The Sea Priest, I hope, offers help in navigating your own inner voyages. It is as much a set of simple inner techniques that we can ALL adapt and make use of, as it is about a historical person and geographical destination.
I like Alan Richardson's books. He calls it like it is and there is no nonsense and along the way you learn a good deal about a little bit of everything. Even that Alan himself once yearned after and hero worshipped 'initiates' before coming to the conclusion they were only human in the end.... I must agree with that observation however it goes without saying that Alan is an initiate as well - despite himself. This book is written like a diarized exploration of.. well, himself, life, magic, faerie, Morgan Le Fay, Moluag - referred to as Lua or sometimes just 'Son' in an affectionate northern sort of way - and a lot more besides. Throughout the book is Alan's humor often self-depreciating but founded also in the everyday world of builders, plumbers and those sort of folk. What I like is the laid back approach to magic. And magic is on full display throughout the book yet there is no incense, outlandish custumery, or complicated ritual. Rather a gentle imaginative tour of self using tried and tested techniques. We learn a bit about everything from Celtic christianity to Raasay's geology - and my best friend at Aston University mapped part of the Island for his undergraduate project (I mapped Eigg - another beautiful island off the west coast of Scotland).
The fact that the book is about an island that Alan has never visited and only saw from afar is somehow typical of his laid back and matter of fact approach in my opinion. He uses modern tools to make his magic - like Google and the internet and then grounds it with a bit of humor founded in the mundane everyday. Along the way, we are treated to an entertaining worldview based on profound inner experiences that we have to conclude are truly magical. I have never met Alan but reading one of his books in this style often seems like sitting with him listening to words of wisdom over a nice whisky and by a roaring pub fire.
A great little book.